Cold spells were dark times in Eastern Europe

Cooler periods coincided with conflicts and disease outbreaks

By Erin Wayman, 13:50 PM January 14, 2013

Some of Eastern Europe’s greatest wars and plagues over the last millennium coincided with cold periods, scientists report online January 14 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Ulf Büntgen of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research in Birmensdorf and his colleagues reconstructed temperatures using tree rings from 282 living larch trees and 263 construction timbers from historical buildings in northern Slovakia. Because the width of tree rings v...

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